RPD: 19-year-old woman killed, man critically injured in crash involving 2 officers
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A 19-year-old woman was killed, an 18-year-old man is fighting for his life, and two police officers were hurt after a crash on Thursday night.
During a press conference, Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith said the 18-year-old was driving a Buick sedan, and the 19-year-old passenger was ejected from the vehicle when the crash happened. She was pronounced dead on the scene. A spokesperson for RPD said that the driver was also ejected, and they were not wearing seatbelts.
Police identified the Buick’s driver as Jeremiah Ruffin and the passenger as Tracey Williams. Tracey’s family said that she was the sister of Xzavier Hill, who was shot and killed by Virginia State Police on I-64 on Jan. 9, 2021.
The two officers involved have been identified as Officers Richard Johnson and DaQuan Walker.
Smith said Officer Johnson was driving at the time, and they were responding to reports of a burglary in progress in the 1500 block of Clarkson Road. The officers had the authorization to use lights and sirens.
“We believe they may have, but we cannot say definitely that their blue lights and sirens were on. They had authorization. We have some clues that that could have been the case,” said Chief Smith.
While en route, the police cruiser and the Buick crashed at the intersection of Bells Road and Castlewood.
The police cruiser was knocked off the road, hit two poles, and forced to stop once it hit a fence, according to police.
Officials said both officers were seriously injured with one sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Walker, who graduated from the police academy in March, is out of the hospital. Johnson, who has been on the force for two years, remains hospitalized.
“Their injuries aren’t minor injuries. They have some lacerations to their head. Concussion would probably be the beginning of it, but there is one, who, last night, it was clear to the hospital staff that this was a TBI, and so his road to recovery will be a little longer than the others,” said Chief Smith.
According to RPD, it is unclear which vehicle struck the other, and the investigation into the crash is ongoing.
“No one stayed on scene at this time, but it doesn’t mean no one was there, and that’s why we’re asking for anyone who may have seen things and just been in a hurry for some other reason to actually give us a call,” said Chief Smith.
RPD is asking anyone who may have information about what happened to contact Detective W. Kress by calling 804-646-0280.
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